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In homage to old school journalism…

November 22, 2011

When Paul Foot died of a heart attack at the age of 66 years old, the real tragedy was, that it also marked the end of investigative reporting in Britain as we have known it.  Phillip Knightley pointed out in the Guardian back 2004: Foot’s working life spanned what can now be seen as a golden age for investigative and campaigning journalism, before greedy proprietors and their cost-cutting accountants killed it off.  Today, what editor interested in keeping his job would commit his paper’s resources and cash to expensive [and often unpopular] investigations and campaigns such as the; Hanratty case, the Poulson scandal, the Birmingham Six convictions, the Guildford Four, Jeremy Thorpe, John Stalker and the Northern Ireland shoot-to-kill policy, the Thalidomide scandal, the DC10 crash outside Paris, the Cambridge spy ring of Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blunt?  Who else would take on pension thief and Freemason Robert Maxwell [Foot picketed Maxwell’s Oxford home when Maxwell was his still boss at the Mirror!], James Goldsmith, the Vestey meat millionaires, who avoided paying income millions in income tax.  The British secret services, police, the armed services and a whole raft of the rich, privileged, powerful people who ran Britain in the 1970’s and 80’s?  The Mirror under Mike Molloy [he hired Foot], The Sunday Times with Harold Evans [editor] and Denis Hamilton [editor-in-chief] and, occasionally, The Observer under Donald Trelford and The Daily Mail under David English jumped in, overcoming their proprietors’ natural instincts not to upset the establishment. They were helped by gutsy lawyers such as Hugh Corrie on The Mirror and James Evans on The Sunday Times and managements who, albeit reluctantly, did not allow the phrase cost-effective to interfere with editorial ambition.  Today, investigative reporting has moved over to television where technological developments have made undercover stories with hidden cameras all the rage.  So what went wrong here? The arrival of new technology drew attention to the cost of journalism.  While the print unions ran newspapers, an editor could defend his budget by pointing out what a small proportion it was of the total cost of production.  On The Sunday Times, for instance, it was never more than about 15 per cent.  The death of the print unions and the great savings this produced brought calls from the accountants for similar savings on the editorial side.  Rupert Murdoch ended editorial budgets on Times Newspapers the moment he took over. Never give journalists a budget, he was reported as saying. The bastards will spend every penny of it [and might unveil the truth!]. – Paul Foot would have gone to jail to assert his right to protect the public against the powerful.  Who would today? – Though it must be said we seem to be living in a much more dangerous state and world, than at any other time following the end of the 2nd world war.

Journalists Killed – I’m including certain facts and details, such how many journalists have been killed, and showing you how dangerous it is to be particularly a microbiologist or nuclear scientists, as here you will see many have either been assassinated or died and killed in very unusual circumstances.  Again I would like to reiterate, my desired targeted audience are my contemporaries, my mates, the kind men and women who I’ve had many a good conversation or heated argument about regarding all sorts of topics, whether down the pub, the garden fence or across the kitchen table.  We’re just ordinary working class people, who represent the masses as a whole. – I do not really care about engaging with, or informing your average scholar, academic type of middleclass person, who are perhaps involved directly or indirectly in this web of deceit, whether knowingly or not, who already had the time and educational opportunity to look into the various subjects I cover in this book, and who may feel [know] they could put the whole matter across better in respects to my grammar, [more full stops], page layout and overall explanations on the topics in which I expose, discuss and talk about. – I have looked back at some of the chats or banter I’ve shared with some fellow friends and acquaintances, and have tried to concentrate on some of those points.  I remember one particular mate, – accusing me of talking a load of bullocks, when I said that; – hundreds of journalists and scientists were regularly killed for trying to expose a story or the truth on some matter.  He implied; I was a typical ‘conspiracy theorist’ exaggerating my point, like many others tend to do, and that he reckoned that maybe; half a dozen, to a dozen, or a few more were killed per year around the world, and more likely in places like Russia and the Middle east, and even then you’ll find there been involved in a genuine accident.  I had to agree with him in regards to the said destinations, but I said he was so wrong and that hundreds had died over just in the last few years: Bollocks, you’re talking absolute bollocks, was his response.  – I only wish at the time I had to hand the appropriate statistics to back up my argument, so here it is just for you – mate, and see if you make out these figures to be such a load of bollocks? – I’ve since showed the chap in question the draft of this book, his response was; Okay, so I was wrong, but did you really feel it that necessary to go to such extremes to prove your point? – And besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if you now become one of those statistics! – He then offered me a pint of beer, but I declined and had a stiff double espresso instead. – And has you can see being a journalist outside the West in today’s world, has never been more dangerous, so to ever get to the truth of a matter is becoming more and more difficult every day.  Sadly, and especially so in the UK and USA, many journalists are nothing more than story tellers, – regurgitators of someone else’s voice, a repeater of a third party agenda.  According to the International News Safety Institute [INSI], – since the 1st January 1992 to 5th November 2010; 810 journalists have been killed.  Since 1992, the Committee to Protect Journalists has compiled detailed accounts of every journalist killed on duty worldwide.  This is bit of a mix bag of statistics and based on the percentage   Profession – Job: – Print reporters/writers: 31.4%. Broadcast reporters: 21.4%. Editors: 15.8%. Camera operators: 10%. Columnists/commentators: 9.3%. Photographers: 7.7%. Producers: 5.6%. Publishers/owners: 4%.  Technicians: 2.2%.  Medium – Print: 56.3%. Television: 27%. Radio: 20.2%. Internet: 1.7%. Gender: Male: 93.1%. Female: 6.9%. Local/Foreign: Local: 86.5%. Foreign correspondents: 13.5%.  Freelance: 11.6%.  – Type of death: Murder: 71.8%. Crossfire/Combat related: 17.8%.  During other dangerous assignment: 10.2%. Undetermined: 0.2%. Type of weapon used: Small arms [includes handguns, rifles]: 53.6%. Heavy arms [includes artillery, air strikes]: 13.9%. Explosives: 10.8%. Knives: 6.6%. Hands [includes beating, strangling]: 4.9%.  Suspected perpetrators in murder cases: Political groups: 32.1%.  Government officials: 18.3%. Criminal group: 11.8%.  Paramilitaries: 6.9%. Military: 5.8%. Local residents: 2.1%. Mob: 1%. Unknown: 22%. Impunity in murder cases: Complete impunity: 88.7%. Partial justice: 6.4%. Full justice: 4.9%.  Threatened before murdered: 29.1%.  Taken captive before murdered: 18.2%.  The following figures don’t amount to 810 killed as to date of writing, because I haven’t included 2010 details; Top 23 Countries: 1. Iraq: 139, 2. Algeria: 60, 3. Russia: 50, 4. Colombia: 41, 5. Philippines: 35, 6. Somalia: 29, 7. India: 26, 8. Pakistan: 21, 9. Bosnia: 19, 10.Turkey: 19, 11. Afghanistan: 18, 12. Sri Lanka: 18, 13. Mexico: 17, 14. Rwanda: 16, 15. Sierra Leone: 16, 16. Tajikistan: 16, 17. Brazil: 16, 18. Bangladesh: 12, 19. Israel: 9, 20. Angola: 8, 21. Cambodia: 8, 22. Georgia: 8, 23. Yugoslavia: 8.

Trapped in a Masonic World.

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